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News stories tagged with "essex-county"

County Association Chief Suspended for Medicaid Reform Stance

This year's budget battle resulted in the first on-time spending plan in 20 years. It also produced modest Medicaid reform, including a cap on the rate of cost increases and a new preferred prescription drug list. But the fight over Medicaid exposed a deep rift within the New York State Association of Counties.
NYSAC suspended its president, Clifford Donaldson, for siding publicly with the unions and with the hospital association.
The organization's board wanted deeper Medicaid cuts than the unions were willing to accept. Donaldson is manager for Essex County and lives in Saranac Lake. He plans to meet with the NYSAC board's fifteen members about the dispute tomorrow. His regular term as president of the organization expires in September. He spoke with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

After Losing GOP Endorsement, Essex County DA Considers Future

Essex County District attorney Ronald Briggs says he's still deciding whether to seek re-election. Briggs, a three-term incumbent, lost the endorsement of the county's Republican committee last week. GOP leaders shocked political observers by supporting Julie Garcia, an attorney from Schroon Lake. As Chris Knight reports, some critics say Briggs spends too much money.  Go to full article

$30 Million Essex Jail Set for APA Approval

The Adirondack Park Agency is expected to approve plans today for the new Essex County jail. A discussion at yesterday's APA session in Ray Brook passed without controversy. Construction of the long-delayed project is set to begin this spring. But as Chris Knight reports, the price tag could now top $30 million.  Go to full article

Processor Grooms NNY Soybean Crop

When you think of soybeans, you generally think of sprawling farms and giant combines in the Midwest. But a local soy processor has an ambitious plan to make soybeans a cash crop in the North Country. Ag Pro Limited, based in Massena, wants to contract with local farmers for up to 15,000 acres of the crop. That's about 5 times the amount grown in the region last year. Ag Pro is holding workshops across the region to teach farmers about how to grow soybeans. David Sommerstein attended one and has this report.  Go to full article
St. Lawrence County's aging jail
St. Lawrence County's aging jail

Counties Bear Burden of Incarceration

The population in New York's county jails is rising fast, by almost 25% in the last five years. It comes at a time when state officials are pressuring counties to close aging facilities. The result is an explosion in new jail construction. In the North Country, the price tag will well exceed a hundred millions dollars. Warren and Washington counties have opened new jails in the past two years. St. Lawrence, Essex, Herkimer, and Clinton counties are in the planning stages. As David Sommerstein reports, the costs of building the new facilities and housing inmates will fall on local taxpayers.  Go to full article

An Old Jail Outlives Its Usefulness

The North Country is home to New York's three oldest county jails - in Hamilton, Essex, and St. Lawrence, in that order. Washington and Warren counties recently built new ones. Clinton County is expanding its 15 year-old facility. County jails have to do more than ever before. They handle all kinds of inmates. They have to follow a blizzard of state mandates. And they cost upwards of $40 million to build. But the state constitution says each of New York's 62 counties has to have one. In the first part of a series on North Country jails, David Sommerstein gets a tour of St. Lawrence County's jail, which is likely to be replaced soon.  Go to full article

APA Approves Controversial Jay Bridge

On Friday, the Adirondack Park Agency approved a controversial plan to build a new bridge across the east branch of the Ausable River. The structure - in the town of Jay -- will sit just downstream from the old covered bridge, which will now serve as a foot and bicycle crossing. As Brian Mann reports, the 7-million dollar project is still dividing locals after years of debate.  Go to full article

Democrats Say They Will Compete For Rural Votes

Democrats wrap up their national convention this evening in Boston, where Massachusetts Senator John Kerry will accept his party's nomination. As the race for president shifts into high gear, much of the attention will focus on rural America. In recent years, Republicans have dominated politics in small towns. This year, Democrats thing they have a chance to compete. Brian Mann spoke with Stuart Brody, who's in Boston for the convention. Brody is party chair in Essex County and chairs New York's Democratic Rural Conference.  Go to full article
18th century French reenactors assemble during a recreated skirmish at Fort Ticonderoga
18th century French reenactors assemble during a recreated skirmish at Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga in Line for Federal Grant

An Essex county historic site is one step closer to getting a $1 million dollar boost from the federal government. The spending bill that passed Congress last week and awaits the President's signature includes more than $4 million dollars for military projects in the North Country. Fort Ticonderoga Government Relations Officer Walt Lender says the federal grant would be used for construction and program development at the fort's proposed Mars Education Center.  Go to full article

Farm Advocates In Adirondacks Say the Future is Local

On Wednesday, a group of farmers and local leaders from the Adirondacks traveled to Quebec. They made the trip to learn about strategies for developing and marketing local produce, everything from organic wheat to apple wine. Tom Both is supervisor in the town of Keene and heads a group called Adirondack Harvest. He spoke with Brian Mann about what he describes as a renaissance for the region's farms and orchards.  Go to full article

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